EU's Barroso: Germany must keep assuring euro peers

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called on Germany to keep assuring its peers it would do its utmost to preserve euro zone stability, and said this week's EU summit could be a turning point for winning back market trust.
In an interview with German daily "Die Welt" published on Tuesday, Barroso also said jointly-issued euro bonds, could only be a medium- to long-term measure to ensure stability and liquidity for the bloc.
"I know that Germany supports greater coordination and discipline and a more comprehensive approach to the crisis... but at the same time Germany should keep assuring its partners that it will do all it can to secure the stability of the euro zone, as is the case with the current rescue fund," he said.

Asked what decisions from the summit on Dec 8 and 9 would be of most importance, Barroso said a move by European leaders to simplify how a country receives aid from the permanent bail out fund, and a clear message to private investors that the debt write-down in the Greek aid package was a one-off.

A qualified majority should decide whether a country can receive aid from the permanent rescue fund, he said, rather than all member states.

Barroso welcomed the meeting and declaration of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Monday, who outlined a plan for imposing budget discipline across the euro zone.

Asked about possible changes to the European Union treaty, in order to allow greater budget discipline, Barroso said certain amendments could be pushed through rapidly.

"Four to five months is a realistic time frame in my opinion, depending on the type of treaty change," he said.
The commission president, who earlier this year said deeper euro zone integration would allow for the issuance of joint sovereign debt, said euro bonds were not a solution to the current crisis.

"Joint sovereign debt requires a much higher level of integration and discipline within the euro zone, which we haven't reached at the moment," he said.

Germany's angry reaction last month to an EU consultation paper on euro bonds had surprised him, he added.


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